Outdoor activities with a healthy dose of curiosity, brought to you by Laure Latham
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Young children live in a wonderful world where gorillas can talk, where trains have friends, and where gruffalos are afraid of cunning mice – that’s until they grow up and go to school. Keeping the magic alive, all these books feature amazing adventures that would seem perfectly natural to young readers because, well, why not? If pigeons can drive buses, then surely red hens can plant seeds and bears can be pirates. Feel free to dive at bedtime into stories where the only limit to imagination is the last page of the book.
Bizzy Bear: Pirate Adventure
Written by Nosy Crow, illustrated by Benji Davies
Hop on the Jolly Roger and set sail on a pirate adventure! This sturdy book is so playful that little hands won’t resist having fun with all the moving parts, following Bizzy Bear’s quest to find a buried treasure on a desert island. Packing fun illustrations with humor and pirate lingo, Bizzy Bear: Pirate Adventure uses simple rhymes and easy concepts to move the story along. Perfect for babies who love bright pictures as well as toddlers who will have as much fun pulling tabs and sliders as learning how to say “Yo Ho Ho!” with enthusiasm.
When My Baby Dreams of Fairy Tales
Written and photographed by Adele Enersen
Baby Mila dreams a lot and her dreams take her to different fairy tales every time she naps. This wonderful book comes straight out of the successful blog http://adeleenersen.com/, a mommy blog created by a Finnish designer who photographed her baby sleeping with various props. The result is a series of adorable pictures that take fairy tales for a whimsical spin with Baby Mila as the baby star. As a bedtime game, try to guess which fairy tales inspire each photo with your toddler.
Fly Blanky Fly
Written by Anne Margaret Lewis, illustrated by Elisa Chavarri
If you have a young Linus at home, this story is for you! When a boy in his jammies launches on his blanky through the air, Sam’s adventures begin. Whooshing to the moon or swishing through the spout of a giant humpback, Sam travels to amazing places thanks to his shape-shifting blanket. Perfect for a rainy or a lazy day in, this book will inspire your toddlers or preschoolers to fold blankets or towels into magical vessels to travel the world.
The King of Space
Written and illustrated by Jonny Duddle
What does a bored intergalactic child who lives on his parents’ moog farm on small moon dream about? Big adventures, of course! Young Rex wants to be nothing less than king of space and builds robots at night, succeeding into self-crowning himself, kidnapping a princess and drawing the ire from the Galactic Empire. Be careful what you wish for! Beautifully illustrated, this story will delight older readers and can set off discussions on the power of imagination and dealing with consequences.
My New Teacher and Me!
Written by Al Yankovic, illustrated by Wes Hargis
On the first day of school, Billy’s new teacher complains about the filth on Bill’s shirt. That remark spark’s Billy’s imagination as he tells an incredible story involving digging to China in his backyard, discovering the skull of a dinosaur, the day Billy’s grandfather played ukulele on the moon while flying a kite and more “nonsense” that drives Billy’s teacher’s mad. Does Billy have wild imagination or is he telling the truth? Any fan of Weird Al should own a copy but even if you’re not, this story’s so crazy that your school-age children will probably steal your copy of the book so they can enjoy it by themselves in a quiet corner. Weird Al crazy is crazy good fun, just like his music.